UAV Benefits

  • Identify roof or gutter damage from a storm
  • Calculate surface area for materials
  • Calculate volume of structures or piles
  • Determine ground damage from construction
  • Locate hot/cold spots with proper optics
  • Inspect the top of a grain leg

Outside of agriculture, UAVs also offer many community development benefits, such as the inspection of:

  • Real estate
  • Power lines
  • Infrastructure
  • Wind turbines
  • Radio towers

UAV Challenges

Collision: When flying near structures and objects, collision is the greatest risk to a UAV.

  • Tip: Most UAVs have anti-collision features for structural inspection, but they have limitations. Know your aircraft and when to turn off those features.

Speed: Developing a stitched image of a structure requires many images, along with tight overlaps. This can be time-consuming.

  • Tip: Always capture high-resolution images for accuracy. Setting ground-control points can improve accuracy as well.

Stitching: Structures such as power lines rarely align perfectly in a stitched image. It can also be difficult when stitching images with identical, or nearly identical, structures.

  • Tip:Take additional images with tight overlaps. If it's still questionable, it may be best to forgo the stitching software and take a still image.

Structural Examples

Picture taken by thermal camera detected a significant temperature differences
Solar panels at ACRE

The drone pilot used a thermal camera to check the functionality of the solar panel array...

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Image of a school parking lot
School parking lot improvements

A local, Jasper County school wanted flights to document infrastructure repairs supported by...

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Image of silos in a farm
Examining an aging grain facility

This video was collected to examine an aging grain system and assess what repairs or upgrades...

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Image of a field drainage tile was damaged during installation
Transmission tower footprint

The construction footprint of two newly installed power transmission towers are shown here...

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Image of a irrigation farm equipment on a field
Irrigation management

UAVs can serve as a quick method to detect anomalies in irrigation systems, such as this center...

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Image a industrial electrical equipment
Power substation maintenance and construction

Purdue Extension partnered with Newton County REMC to photograph substation renovation and...

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Image of a field showing signs of damage product of a subsurface concrete drain pipe installation
Concrete pipe installation

A subsurface concrete drain pipe was installed in 2019 to provide an outlet from a new retention...

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second image shows lines of the homeowner drainage line
Septic drain field installation

Before the installation of a new septic tank and finger system, this homeowner was curious about...

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Image of a building windows showing signs of leaking
Leaky windows of courthouse

We were able to locate leaky windows on the second floor of this courthouse using a UAV. We found...

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